Charge dropped against student

Update: The charge against Andrew Patrick Villars was dropped Feb. 27, court records show.

Earlier story

A Vero Beach High School student suspected of firing a round from a rifle in a social media video was detained after officials found ammunition and a knife in his truck on campus, deputies said.

Deputies arrested Andrew Patrick Villars, 19, of the 100 block of High Court, Sebastian, on a charge of possession of a weapon on school property. Villars was released Feb. 4 from the Indian River County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Villars’ booking photo was exempt under Florida Statute because his parent works for a government agency, Indian River County sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Eric Flowers said.

On Jan. 15, Indian River County deputies got a tip that Villars got a .308 caliber rifle for Christmas. The rifle had a mounted scope, deputies said.

Deputies were shown a Snapchat video that showed an unidentified person firing a round from a mounted scope rifle. Deputies learned Villars carried his rifle in his Ford F-150 pickup, reports show.

On Jan. 16, deputies went to Vero High and searched Villars’ truck. Inside, deputies found a silver handle, survival-style knife with an 8-inch blade, reports show.

Deputies also found five unfired .270 caliber cartridges. Villars told deputies he forgot the knife was in the truck and that he made a mistake, reports show.

Villars’ father told deputies he took the knife and ammunition from the home of his father and put them in his vehicle. The man said his family visited the sick grandfather in the hospital, officials said.

Villars’ father moved the weapons from his vehicle to his son’s truck before they left, reports show. Villars’ father told deputies his son did not know about the knife and ammunition in the truck.

Deputies noted Villars and his father made conflicting statements.

Deputies arrested Villars and took him to the county jail. Villars has an arraignment at 8:45 a.m. March 6, court records show.



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Jannsvillars February 15, 2020

As I read this article I realized that from whomever or where ever you received your facts only represents the lack of integrity in reporting. You see, I have the authority to stare the facts because this is my son and I was present.

Did you happen to see that the tip was received on Jan 15th but my son’s truck was not searched until 12:30 pm on Jan 16th? Now, if I was a parent of a student at VBHS and I was concerned for my child’s safety my first question would be as to why hours and hours after the tip was received action was finally taken. If there was a risk to any life if any student ask yourself why was there such a significant delay. There are two answers. One, this is the manifesto to attack a student who has never ever been in trouble or two, the lives of each and every student and staff member at VBHS is not worthy of being saved. You decide.

There were no conflicting statements, the truth was told and sadly no one has read the information to come to the conclusion that nothing makes sense at all. The search was conducted on Jan 16 and no warrant was issued until Feb 4th. Again, the lack of speed reflects the amount of importance.

Finally, let it be known that the “Fortify” website set up to take tips has been used as a form of retaliation. Matter of fact, the FDLE and the FLDOE is investigating. That’s a fact.

So, I thank you for including my son’s address in your article as it was not provided. That means you searched for it to be included in your article. You put more time and effort into applying his address than the SRO did in searching the vehicle the same day or immediately the next school day for the “gun” that was not reported to be in his truck on school campus. Shame on you!

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